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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tis the season for natural cleaning!

Many people find January the perfect month for cleaning up.  It's a fresh new year, and you want to rid yourself of the dust of last year and start with a nice clean slate.  So, you break out the Windex, the Soft Scrub with bleach, the Oxyclean and go berzerk.  Small problem.  This is going to conflict with your other New Year's resolutions to become "greener", healthier, and less toxic.

So many cleaning products out there are totally toxic, and I want to save you from them.  

How do you know if what you're using is deathpaste, anyway?

Glad you asked.

First, check to see if you've got some poison lurking in your home over at the EWG.  The EWG is an independent organization that has a worthwhile mission - rid the planet of toxic chemicals.  Their plan?  An informed public.  They have a database that you can look up your cleaning products (along with sunscreen, cosmetics, and other stuff you slather on your body, squirt in your air, and wipe all over your home).  Here is their page on all of their databases: EWG consumer guides.  They rate each product (grades A - F) and ingredient and show you different areas of concern (environment, reproductive health, cancer, respiratory, and skin allergies).  This page is one of my top go-to's and is an amazing resource.  Bookmark this baby and check back on it often.

If you've found that your household contains products that are killing you and your family (and if you're using stuff that is mass produced, you have a high chance that it is), move to step two: Go on over to Ms. Daisy's Norwex site.  You'll find amazing solutions for cleaning your home in a non-toxic, and truly non-chemical way.  How is this possible?  Oh, I KNEW you wanted to know! If you haven't yet heard of Norwex, it is a company that makes silver-woven microfiber.  You do know the benefits of silver, right?  It kills baddies like nobody's beeswax so you can have a truly clean surface.  This microfiber is used ONLY with WATER, so you don't get crazy endocrine disruptors, funky fake scents, and poisons on your hands, surfaces, up your nostrils and into your children's bloodstreams.  Now when I say "microfiber", some of you are like, yeah, microfiber, whatevs.  I can get microfiber at the dollar store.  Yeah.  You can.  That's called the crap microfiber.  Might I recommend the Mercedes?  In order for anything to be classified as microfiber, the fibers must be 1/6 the size of a human hair.  Norwex blows the lid off of that and goes to 1/200th of a human hair.  I kid you not.  Like I said, Mercedes.

Now, you're likely thinking a couple of things here.  When I first heard of it, I turned my nose up at it and thought, "WhatEVER!!  Like, so DUMB!  I make my OWN cleaning stuff, and I am superior.  Duh!!"  So, a dear person sent me a couple of microfiber cloths in the mail for me to try and I have to tell you it shut me up in about two seconds.  I cleaned my entire house top to bottom three days in a row while I stood back and drooled at the results.  This leads to the second thing people think, which is, yeah, okay, but does it actually work?  I am slightly OCD (read: as in the same way China is a slightly populated country) and I am rather particular about how my house looks.  Unfortunately (or fortunately) I am also particular about what I put in my house, so there are many things that won't pass the test in that arena.  I will personally vouch for these things.  They are ridiculous. 

If you are someone who is more than happy with the results you are getting with vinegar and water, I applaud you.  If you are using vinegar and water and it's not doing what you wish it was, check the Norwex out.  If you are using anything you can buy in the store (Soft Scrub, Tilex, 409, Clorox wipes, Lysol stuff, etc.), I am putting this out there for you - begging you to take a look at it.  Norwex will get you cleaner than that stuff without any toxic effects on your environment or destroying your children's reproductive organs.  (I tend toward being dramatic, but in this, I assure you, I am being dead serious.)

I recommend all of the microfiber, the cleaning paste (giant tears of joy on this one - removes black permanent marker, hello?), and the mops (and since it is so easy to suck up the globs of dog hair, it makes me slightly more fond of my dog).  If you are interested in the body stuff, email me first, because some products have ingredients that make me raise an eyebrow.  

I put a link on the top of my page called Ms. Daisy's Natural Cleaning for those of you who get updates in your email but don't visit my page - so come on!  Come visit me and check it out!

Happy non-toxic cleaning, my peeps!

Peace, love, and keep it clean,  
Ms. Daisy

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Irony, vol. 2

In my last post, I wrote about how not to get sick, but I forgot to add two very important things.  

1.)  Drink lots and lots of good, filtered water to flush the nasty out of your body.  
2.)  Do not write a post about NOT getting sick, because then you will obviously be tested on this point and will wake up at 3:00 in the morning with a sore throat, wherein you will go slam some apple cider vinegar and gag.  

Awesome.  Merry Christmas Eve! 

Peace, love, and can I have another shot, please,
Ms. Daisy

Monday, December 22, 2014

Don't Get Sick!

'Tis the season for sick to swirl amongst the masses.  With many family gatherings (and you have no idea what "many" is until you've met my peeps) and work parties, and boogery sniffling children at church who sneeze on the people in the pew in front of them - you have quite the chances of exposing yourself to utter plethoras of germy wonders.  Why just last week, I got to hold a small actively barfing child.  It's pretty much everywhere.

Must.  Resist. 

Must.   Stop.  The.  Germs.

But how?

Well, I am not a doctor, although I pretty much pretend that I am, and in fact, at certain points in time I feel that I am at least 70% more awesomer (this grammatical structure is nearly proof of it RIGHT THERE) than doctors, so take my little plan of wonders however you want to take it.

But I digress.

Okay, so last week I was exposed to the boogery-est, most coughing in your face offsprings, and as I previously mentioned, as an extra bonus, I got to hold onto a barfing little.   (Please mail all Awesome Mom Awards right this way.)  I was pretty much bathing in germs, wearing them on my clothes, styling my hair with them, pushing them into my eyes and drinking them (tastes great with kombucha and chia seeds).  Now it is okay to occasionally get sick, but it is not okay to get sick when you are supposed to have a weekend of double parties and host twenty something people in your eleven square foot house.  You have to be legit healthy and halfway to crae crae with energy.  I needed all of my faculties and then half of someone else's to pull this off.  No sicky allowed!

What to do?

I pretty much went ballistic with every single immune boosting thing I could possibly think of.  Let me share the list.

I started feeling the tickle thing in the back of my throat and then the weakness and the cold sweaty thing and I "oh no you didn't-ed" right over to my awesome non-pharmaceutical medicine cabinet and started with Cold Calm and a few squirts of Sovereign Silver.  I popped Cold Calm every twenty minutes or so for two hours and I started feeling better - just in time for party #1 with the divas.  I then proceeded to drink boiling water poured over chopped ginger, half a squeezed lemon, and a spoonful of raw honey (which probably wasn't "raw" anymore after I dunked it in that hot of water.  Yeah.).  Now you can't just waste that ginger, you gotta eat those spicy bits.  Down the hatch.  Luckily, my dear sweet friend made a turkey and she had roasted an entire bulb of garlic - so I threw a clove of that down the hatch too.  Breath what?

The next day was filled with organic food sourced vitamin C, homemade chicken broth, more garlic, more ginger and a nap.

I was feeling better and better.  I think I floated over and past the coughing, boogery wonders, and then the feeling in the stomach hit me.

Oh crap.

No-no-no-no-no-no-no to the exponential infinity power.  It was T-minus twenty hours until the party at my house.  Stress + lack of sleep = lowered immune system = I am in trouble.  I was not going to restore loads of energy because there were still a pile of things to do (um, throw self across the floor playing volleyball in a league full of uber-competitive players, for one) and clean the house.  This. Cannot.  Be.  Happening.  WhatamIgonnado?

Don't panic.  Eat a pile of ginger, drink a giant bottle of Kevita coconut kefir, and alternate chugging down the kombucha.  Basically, ingest every probiotic possible.  And pray to God for help.

God helped.

So far, I've made it out okay.  If you ever are starting to feel sick, that is the time that you should boost your immunity, increase your probiotics, and consider it a serious job to get yourself some true nutrition (and see your food as serious instead of for fun - no sugar, just nutrient dense goodies). 

Here's my quick cheat sheet for some suggestions to think about if you come across any of the common winter yucks.

Sore throat:
- Sovereign silver squirts in the throat (Seriously?  You don't have this yet?  Run.)   
- shots of organic apple cider vinegar (with water if ya' ain't manly enough to take it straight) - and then slam down your cup and make a breathy, growly, manly sound while squinting your eyes in a way that may or may not be considered dramatically necessary
- gargle a mixture of hot water, salt, and vinegar
- netipot (stainless steel preferred, let's not BPA the inside of your brains) in case you have nasal drainage, which affects your throat
- up the Vitamin C dose (>1000 mg/daily)
- no sugar in your diet until it's gone (don't give the bad guys bullets)

Stuffy nose:
- netipot (mine is here )

- Sinu-orega nasal spray (HOLY COW this works.)
- sniff at eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils
- no sugar in your diet until it's gone
- homemade chicken broth with onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and celtic grey sea salt

Yucky stomach:
- drink a mazillion ounces of kombucha (this is an approximate dosage)
- alternate with a bazillion ounces of coconut kefir (also approximate)
- chomp up some whole ginger bits
- avoid high fat/dairy or whatever else makes you feel worse
- Bieler broth (steamed green beans, zucchini, parsley and celery with the water it steamed in, dropped in a blender until it is green soup mush)

The best way to float over the sickies is to have a good immune system in the first place.  Keep exercising, eating well, getting enough sleep (>8 hours per night), and having a positive attitude.

In no time at all, you'll be up for secretly (or overtly) racing the other people in the pool and on the sidewalks.

Peace, love, and have some more garlic,
Ms. Daisy

Friday, December 12, 2014

Yep. Not the same.

I think most people operate under the assumption that for the most part, people are just like them.  No matter how crazy weird you are, you just kind of think that you're normal and yeah, sure, maybe people don't all like the same things, but we're pretty much running standard quo-ish-esque.  Right?

I have to admit that I do this same thing.

And then I am rather wildly shocked when people are not.

(See, even just typing that makes me realize how totally dumb it is.  But I can't help it!  I'm stuck in this paradigm!  Aaaah!  I can't get out!!)

The following blog will serve to prove the point about the weird people even thinking that they are normal.

Por ejemplo.  I was in Costco and I have a curious habit of looking into other people's carts to see what kinds of interesting things they are buying.  I mean, not like OCD ultra-compulsively or anything, but perhaps while standing in line and bored (since I don't have a smart phone to text/email/go into my own world away from society).  I will glance on as the person in front of me hoists up their goods upon the conveyor and THAT is the time that I have this paradigm breakdown.

It goes something like this in my head.

"Oh my gosh!  People really buy Honeycomb cereal!  (And cereal in general?  Do people actually BUY cereal?  Why?  It has no nutritional value at all.  Maybe they're making crafts with it.  He clearly needs glue.)  That's so funny.  I didn't think people bought cereal anymore.  Huh.  How about that.  Wow, what's that?  He's buying white buns?  Maybe he's planning on poisoning the pigeons or something, since that is full of high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, and various other non-food ingredients.  That guy over there has some Perdue chicken.  Maybe he doesn't know about the dark and window-less aluminum houses, the mini-backhoes to scoop up the dead ones, and the minimum waged workers who care nothing about the animals.  I suppose he does a lot of physical activity to sweat out the arsenic."

And then I'm driving home and I look and see that there are cars at McDonald's.  People really still go there?  I thought that was so like, five minutes ago.  No,  seriously.  I am genuinely surprised that it is still in business.  I mean, if I think outside of my box, it could possibly be a business running in the black.  Why?  How is this possible?  What are those people DOING there?  Do they seriously NOT KNOW?  There are only two people I know who say they go to McDonalds - my mother (for their coffee and to torture me), and Julie when she is pregnant for the Angus burgers.  (Now wrap your head around the fact that SHE LOSES WEIGHT when she does this.  Julie, seriously.  How do you do it?) 

Why is this person buying flour?  Did their grain mill break?  Oh.  Wait.  Maybe they don't have a grain mill.  They should call me!  They could totally come over and grind some flour. 

And then I will be in a conversation with someone and they nonchalantly mention that they took Tylenol/aspirin/prescription meds/Nyquil/Advil/etc.  Do you know that scratched record sound?  Umm...what?!  Whyfor would you do such a thing?  (Maybe you've been watching the twenty thousand commercials on TV that suggest they will solve your problem.)  Once they suggest that their primary care physician suggested it, I begin resisting the urge to scratch my own eyes out.  This is closely followed with the feeling of resisting the urge to scratch the primary care physician's eyes out.  That is followed by the urge to poke the AMA in the eyeball.  With a Tylenol.


So, as you can see, everyone is different. No two people are not on fire. Awww.

Gotta go.  Time to drive round trip 50 miles to get local, free-range chicken eggs and get over to the farm for the milk.

Are you saying you don't do that?


Peace, love, and don't worry - I've got this corner of Weirdlandia covered,
Ms. Daisy

Monday, December 1, 2014

World War Leaf

I am not sure you are aware, but I am in this quasi-war with leaves.  I rake them all up, bag them, put them to the curb and then somehow - miraculously! - they return the next day.  This is usually due to the fact that my neighbors are not shall I put this...particular/crazy/type-A/neurotic about their leaf pick up.

Now this does not mean all of my neighbors.  In fact, the neighbors on either side of me are quite good about picking up their leaves.  However, when you go beyond that, we have some serious leaf failure going on.

This is compounded by the fact that my ratty neighborhood has several vacant houses and I will tell you right now that there is no way on earth that those owners/the bank/etc. are coming around to pick up leaves, exterminate rats, eliminate the thousand newspapers collecting on the front porch, monitor copper pipe robbers, etc.  It is a crying shame.

So these lazies are off in happy Out of Ratlandia Land, forgetting that they ever lived here.  This is not so cute for the neighborhood.  Not really improving our look, not really helping out with house values. 

Thus, the leaves blow.  They pile up, kill the vacant house's grass, get all wet and grossy, and then barf across my lawn.  It is not a nice sight.  Especially for Ms. Neurotic Leaf Warrior.

Yesterday I raked again.  It was the third time this week of raking.  The lovely blood blister on my thumb was nearly healing and callousing up from the previous attempts to clear the lawn. 

That was when I decided to do it.  Yes, dear peeps, I decided to march myself down the street with my lawnmower and get rid of their leaves.  I must admit, I did not this to be a charitable neighbor.  This was pure shock and awe in Leaf War.  Now, you also must know that I initiated my attempt while my dear hubby was at the store looking a muzzleloader (because deer hunting just isn't long enough with bow and gun season).  


Obvs!  It would have been way harder to sneak down the block with a lawnmower if he were here!  


Well, after an hour of this (and my hubby driving up and asking, "What on earth are you doing?!"), it was finished. 

Leaves - 3
Ms. Daisy - 4

Bring it.

Peace, love, and rake it up,
Ms. Daisy

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Rake Your Leaves, Bozo

My dear peeps,

I have been so busy, as you can perhaps guess with my absence from writing.  With what, you may ask? 

Let me put it to you exactly like this.  I have been ultra-busy writing plethoras of love letters to my neighbors whose main life goal is to never ever ever ever ever rake their leaves, especially after I raked mine for three hours.  This is especially wonderful as yesterday the winds were only 60 mph and I could layer the entire back and front yard with the deciduous litter they have spread my way.

What do to thank neighbors like this, really?

Obviously I was thinking of a few things.

First, perhaps I would submit a secret letter to them that says, "Please pick up your disgusting leaves, bozo.  Love, Hardworking Caring Neighbor"

Then I thought that they would probs notice it was me since I have been prone to stand out in the front yard glaring at them with red laser beams coming out of my eyeballs shooting at their faces, shaking my fist at the sky like Palpatine getting zapped into a crispy wrinkle by Mace Windu.  That might be a giveaway.  Wouldn't want to take it out of the DL flava, now.

So then I thought maybe I could just bag up all of their leaves that they allowed to blow upon my lawn and march them over, walk to their fenced backyard and dump said leaves upsidedown in a wild display of floppy armage while screaming, "How do you like that?!  How do you like it all over your lawn, lazy pants?!"  After the initial satisfaction that this would clearly cause, I seemed to ponder a slight flaw and see that I would be exactly in the same place I am now since the dears wouldn't bother about raking it up anyway and it would all just end up in my front yard again anyway.

The only real thank you could really come in the form of a brown flaming paper bag.

(Don't put it out with your boots, Ted!)

Yeah, well, I wish.  I guess this is just the fodder that bounces to and fro as personal entertainment in my mind as I once again go outside and rake up five more lawn bags.

Peace, love, and I guess the T-shirt with the "Stop Being A Lazy Slob and Get Out Here and Rake" might be a bit over the top, too, (sigh!)
Ms. Daisy

Friday, October 31, 2014

Return of Crackoween

'Ello, lovelies!  Happy Crackoween!  What's that, you say?  You aren't familiar with Crackoween?  Well, some people call it Halloween, but clearly they must be mistaken.    Obvs.

Well, if you're not exactly sure, let me tell you.  Over here in the good ol' U. S. of A., we pay like a majillion dollars for a flame-retardant (poison, endocrine disruptor) costume (or $17.99) for a little, and send them out begging for crack candy from house to house wherein they knock on the door and yell out, "Trick or treat!"  Halloween decorations start showing up at Costco in August so people can stick skeletons and tombstones in their front yard for all of October, because hey, if we can't make a holiday into completely over-the-top wild spaz consumerism, we've landed in the wrong country.

Then the last week of October comes and the giant bags of candy go on sale at the grocery stores.  The bags have to be giant because there are so many chemicals ingredients in there, they need that much space to write it down.  This is when it is your duty to spend an irreprehensible amount of money on such things in order to poison bring joy to all of the children in your neighborhood.

Okay, okay, okay.  I'm not exactly the Scrooge of Halloween, but I am trying to make a point.

The point is that there is so dang much candy for those little bodies that I think you could induce a sugar coma in no time.  

Now when I think back to my growing up days, my parents were much more normal lenient in the area of candy consumption.  I remember pouring out my treasure all over the living room floor in order to organize it into categories (chocolate, suckers, sugar candy, worthless pennies, McDonald's bucks, etc.) and then it was a thing back then that parents were encouraged to sort through candy to check for things like razor blades, or candy laced with LSD.  We had no TSA scanners back then, so I think it passed or failed based on making a general scan over the pile and then warning us not to bite down on potential razor blades if we happened to find one.

Once we got that green light, it was frenzy time.  It was like Christmas morning, but Halloween night.  Shreds of wrappers littered the floor, tongues turned blue, then purple, then red, then yellow.  I would trade Tootsie Rolls with my brother for anything else (since who eats those unless they are totally desperate?!).  I would hand my mother the McDonald's bucks and think to myself how weird that was that people passed these out.    

Maybe the candy didn't contain TBHQ (butane derivative - good thing you have  those flame retardant costume, eh?), high fructose corn syrup, artifical flavors, colors, soy lecithin, partially hydrogenated oils, and other chemicals.  Maybe it did.  But what I know now is that much of the candy in fact does contain such ditties.  Some of these are carcinogens, some mess up your endocrine system, others carry heavy metals because of their processing (like mercury) which causes neurodegeneration, and some are petroleum derivatives (yummaaaay).  

And I haven't yet mentioned even the amount of sugar our candies contain.  So what?  Let the kids have a little sugar now and then!  Yeah, except for two things.  Sugar follows the same path in your body as cocaine, lighting up those exact paths in your brain.  Sugar is a narcotic.  Yes, it's legal, yes, most people think nothing of it (except maybe when they have to go to the dentist).  But it is a narcotic.  The more  you have, the more you need.  When people comment about being addicted to sugar, they may be speaking more literally than they could imagine.

The other issue with sugar is that your body can only process a certain amount of sugar at a time.  Beyond that (depending on age/weight/etc.), you get, in essence, an immune system shutdown.  Everything has to stop its productivity to run over and get this fructose, glucose, sucrose, lactose, etc., out.  It is like factory shutdown.  Hopefully at that time you don't get innundated with an enemy front and get sick three days later.

So what to do?  No parent wants to be Oscar the Halloween Ruining Grouch, for sure.  But we are also responsible to protect our children when they are unaware of dangers.  This is a personal decision, and each parent ought to think through what this looks like in their own home.  I'm just here to pass on the info.

As far as my home goes, I will go ahead of time with them to pick out a few treats from the health food store (72%+ dark chocolate, some organic suckers, Glee gum, etc.) so they have something to look forward to.  After we go trick-or-treating, we get home and weigh the candy and they trade it in for money to buy something they like that lasts longer than a Tootsie Pop.  (I dump all of the crack candy into the garbage. Garbage day is Monday, if you want to garbage pick for mine.)

Happy Crackoween, ya'll.

Peace, love, and that treat might be a trick,
Ms. Daisy

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

He said what?

Do you ever get door-to-door salesmen in your area?  Well, my dearies, have I got a story for you.  Yesterday we had such a person come to our abode selling steaks.  

If you know me, you know that I just had to ask him if the steaks were from grass-fed cows.  He said he didn't know, but he did know that he could give me a deal.  Now you know I appreciate a deal, but not at the cost of health.  I told him that usually grass-fed beef was usually marked as such because it is something sought after.  

I then explained that usually cows that weren't grass fed were fed stuff like corn, and of course, cows aren't supposed to eat corn, they're supposed to eat grass.  

Do you have any idea what he said next?  Do you?  My sweet people, this man said, "Corn is grass."  

Um, what?  I couldn't let this be shugged off.  (Perhaps I should have?)  I replied, "Actually...corn is a grain (seed).  Grass is...uh...grass is that stuff right there (pointing to the lawn)."  

"No, corn is grass." He retorts, still quite certain of himself.  

"Okay, so...", I begin, trying to think of a nice way to go on this, "You know how corn has like stalks, you know, out in the country, and it grows really tall and on a cob...that's actually different from grass..." and I trail off, raising my eyebrows hopefully.  


He looks at my college flag that I proudly sport out in front of my house (which is known for being an agricultural university) and says, "Hey, wait a minute.  Did you go to that college right there?  You must know a lot about this kind of stuff!  Wow!  Okay, then.  I guess you're right!"  

Okay, well, whatever it takes to convince you.  (Especially since I took exactly zero ag classes.)  "Yes.  Hey, you just come right back here if you get in a load of grass-fed steaks, okay?"  

Yes, I understand that the stalk may be considered a grass, but the cows aren't eating the stalks.  They're eating the seed - the little yellow bits.  That is not the same as pasture.  That's also why McDonald's pretends in the background of their commercials that their hometown farmers that they use are out wearing overalls while the cows mull around munching on lush green pastures.  It's because that's the way it's supposed to be.  

If they were advertising commercial agricultural feedlots where cows are standing in puddles of yuck, penned in, eating corn out of a bucket (or trough, etc.), with their faces in the hindquarters of the cow next to them since they've been packed in so tightly...well, it just doesn't give off the same kind of quaint flavor (or selling umph).

Perhaps it doesn't bother you very much about what the cows are eating, and I am not in crazy town suggesting that cows ought to be nestling up to fluffy pillows while their massage therapist works on their top round, but I do think we ought to realize that we are what we eat.  If we promote low-quality filthy cow quarters by putting our money into that basket, we are getting the results of that - animals who must have antibiotics (since they are sludging around in poo), animals who have gut issues (since we're feeding them a sugary grain instead of a lean grass), and likely a lesser quality of life than those allowed to act like the cows they were made to be out on pasture.

That meat makes it into your body and comprises what you become.  It is not for the sake of making cows sacred that they ought to be out on pasture eating grass, it is because it is just plain the right thing to do.  It is for the sake of profit that things are done another way - it is easier, it is cheaper, it brings in big money.  But is it giving you the best of health?  If the cows are eating genetically modified corn (and they are, unless the beef is marked "organic"), they are becoming altered - and that is passing on to you.  And we know how that translates within society - just look at all of the robust health everywhere.


Eyes open, peeps.  Let's do it right.

Peace, love, and pass the ketchup,
Ms. Daisy

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Warning: Jillian Michaels-like rant ahead

You know that thing that people do when they get all wigged out?  That kind of...I don't do you describe it accurately?  That vibe.

(Wow, that was so like totally 0% precise.)

So I started up the Just One Thing Challenge and asked people to try to stop using their microwaves.  I suppose in hindsight, maybe I should have asked people to do something like "try to eat a piece of fruit some time this week if you get the off chance" because for some reason, I am getting this vibe that asking people not to use a microwave is something along the lines of, "I would really think it beneficial to you if you could please not breathe this week."

But I have to tell all-a-y'all, I am just not wired that way.  I am not wired to gently nudge you toward taking a tiny bite of fruit sometime throughout this week.  THAT IS STRAIGHT UP LAME.

I am not here to coddle babies along toward pathetic-ism.  I want you to change.  Do you need to change?  Then do it.

Let me say, I am not throwing anyone under the bus if you don't have any means to do something.  I'm not asking for you to paint your walls with the gold paint they use over at the Notre Dame football field for their helmets.  I am asking you to try something that if it were like 30 years ago, it would not have even been a challenge.  If it were 50 years ago, it would have not even existed.  Do you see how this may seem odd in the whole spectrum of things?

Well, I guess it's kind of like living a day without your smartphone.  Also impossible.  That would be like having to wake up early and exercise before work (what-EVS sonotgonnahappen!).  That would be like choosing to make your own bread instead of having the glorious factory do it for us (like I have time for THAT!).  Yeah.  Good thing our smartphones and our devices we have brought into our lives to simplify them have given us plenty of time to live a quality life.

You choose the things you want to do every single day.  If you want to choose to microwave your head, slobber up some pesticides, ingest Teflon, suck down McDonalds, consume loads of sugar crack, IV yourself to Diet Coke/Pepsi/Mountain Dew (etc.), and punch your liver in the face with a blowtorch with your eight zillion prescription meds, please go right ahead.  But please do NOT complain that you are obese, have no energy, and/or are not happy.  You would be what we might call totally and certifiably insane.  In the membrane.  Insane in the brain.

Do hard things.  This is your life.  There is so much zing to be had out there.  Don't pass it up for the easy road.  

I know it is weird, but if we want things to be different than they are now, we need to do something different than we're doing now.

Be strong.  Tell the wimpy voice to shut up.  

Peace, love and man up,
Ms. Daisy

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Just One Thing - Challenge 2: The Dirty Dozen

We explored the depths of relegating your microwave to the junk pile (or the basement...or to Salvation Army) in the last challenge.  Onward and we forge our path toward (bum ba da baaaaaa) pesticide reduction.

Pesticide reduction?  What the heck for?  My direct and unfiltered answer: do you want cancer?  Are you trying to make your kids totally inept and spazzy?  Are you supporting the death of honeybees that make it possible for us to eat piles of produce?  Do you even care about poisoning the land beyond recognition so that your offspring will have a world devoid of any nutrients and health whatsoever?  (Like I said, unfiltered.)  Consuming vast swathes of insane poisons sprayed all over your absorby food is straight up a TOTALLY INSANE IDEA that we blatantly overlook for no good reason.  Just think about this for like two seconds.  We spray things that kill living beings (no, I'm not on a specific "save-the-bug" bus here, I'm just pointing this out) all over our food (HELLO?) and then ingest it, thinking this is totally normal and nothing to worry about.

After all, the FDA and the USDA approve it, so it must be perfectly fine.

(If you believe that, step a little closer so I can slap your forehead for you.)

What if I told you that there was a nice quick and dirty (well, actually, maybe I should say "clean") way to avoid the bulk of pesticides?

There is.

The EWG is the Envoronmental Working Group (find them at  They test every kind of fruit and veg you can imagine for pesticides and report it out to the public.  Unfortunately for those of us in the United States, we have pathetic standards for what is safe (couldn't be from all of the lobbyists who beg for loose restrictions so that they can make buckets of money) and trail behind the standards of the countries of Europe.  (Hello, Americans?  Get up that competitive spirit and let's get in first place here!)

They have compiled a list of fruits and vegetables that contain the most pesticides so that if you were to purchase and consume them organically, you would automatically reduce your pesticide load by more than 90%.   This is what they call the "Dirty Dozen".  It is the top twelve fruits and vegetables that if you could buy organically,  you really ought to.

What are they?  Well, they change yearly (although they do have many of the same homies populating the list year after year) because they test yearly.

For every year I've looked at the Dirty Dozen,  I've always seen the top two as they are this year: apples and strawberries.  Those puppies are just LACED with junk.  

Here is the Dirty Dozen, in order:
1.  worst place: apples
2.  strawberries
3.  grapes
4.  celery
5.  peaches
6.  spinach
7.  sweet peppers (red peppers)
8.  imported nectarines
9.  cucumbers
10.  cherry tomatoes
11.  imported snap peas
12.  potatoes

In each of those cases, you are chowing down on the outside of the fruit/veg where toxic chemicals have been directly sprayed.

The EWG also puts out the "Clean Fifteen" - the fruits and veggies that contained the least amount of pesticide residue.  If you're on a budget and just can't buy everything organically, here are ones that you could best get away with doing so.

The Clean Fifteen, cleanest first.
1.  avocados
2.  sweet corn
3.  pineapples
4.  cabbage
5.  frozen sweet peas
6.  onions
7.  asparagus
8.  mangoes
9.  papayas
10.  kiwi
11.  eggplant
12.  grapefruit
13.  cantaloupe
14.  cauliflower
15.  sweet potatoes

So.  Will you consider reducing your pesticide load by perhaps switching to organic on some of these fruits and veggies?  I know that this does have a cost component, but I would encourage you with two things. First, how much is your health worth?  You know what Joel Salatin says, right?  "If you think organic food is expensive, have you priced cancer lately?"  That.  Secondly, don't buy any prepackaged foods and you can save yourself enough money to put in the organic food basket.  Prepackaged foods are devoid of nutrition and are sucking your life out of you, anyway, so it's a win-win.

I'm not here to boss you around and tell you you stink if you don't buy organic fruit.  I'm here to encourage you to take a look at what you're doing.  Don't just go on like a cog in a machine and go with the flow because everybody else is doing  it (everybody else is also sick).  You are not like everyone else.  God made you special, sista/brotha!

The point is that it's just insane to look around at so much sickness and think if we just cross our fingers and throw salt over our shoulder we'll try to dodge that bullet.  Do something about it.  Today.

Your health is not a roulette game.  Every move you make walks you toward or away from wellness.  Just think about it.

Here is a very practical, instant, do something about it now change you can make.

Peace, love, and smell the delicious organic apples,
Ms. Daisy

Monday, September 8, 2014

Week 1: How was it?

Hey peeps!  So, you made it one week (maybe).  Did you make it?  Tell me f'realies how it's going.  Is it easy?  Impossible?  Sometimes you forget?  Tell me!

When I gave up my microwave, I was terrified that somehow I would fail or starve or something (actually, I don't know what, but I knew that I depended on it somehow...or I thought I did).  I wanted to distance myself from it without jumping off of the cliff straightaway, so I put it in the basement.  For about 6 months.

Do you know what happened when I put it into the basement?  I stopped using  it. Just like that.  It wasn't convenient to me, and I was purposing to live without it - and I did.  And it was no big deal.  

It was like switching to homemade deodorant.  At first you think, "OH MY GAWSH, that is NOT EVEN POSSIBLE!" and then you do it and you wonder what your problem was.  (It's the matrix if you're wondering.)

If you're having a hard time, but think you are able to do it and your microwave is on the counter, put it in the basement/garage/pole barn/shed/chicken coop (?!) and you'll realize two things.  One, you have more counter space and two, you can do this.  Don't really put it in your chicken coop, we don't want them climbing in and laying eggs in the radiation box...

And then that was it.  It was over.  I didn't need it anymore.  I lived without it just fine. Now I wonder why I used it in the first place.

If your microwave is mounted under a counter above your stove, well...can you unplug it?  I wouldn't want you to cook and have that thing on shooting your brain with cancer bullets.  (If it were me, I'd unscrew it and sell it on craigslist, but hey.)

I haven't had a microwave in the house for about two years.  At first I was the only one on this bus in my house, the hubby wanted to warm up his coffee in it and would occasionally go down and nuke it.  I would ask for his coffee when it got cold and heated it up in a pot for him and he liked that just fine.  It slowly transitioned over where he didn't want to use it either.

He rated it a 5/10 difficulty at first for stopping the use of it and now he wouldn't use it at all.  

What's the point?

If we can do it without much consternation, I think you can too.

Let me know how you're doing!  If you have questions or need a mini Ms. Daisy on your shoulder, just ask!  (justonethingchallenge {at}

Peace, love and you can do eeet,
Ms. Daisy

Thursday, September 4, 2014

How to: life without a microwave

I asked around to see if I could discern the top uses of a microwave (and thus, try to find what would be most helpful to find substitutions for) and here's what I found:

1.  Heating up leftovers  
2.  Zapping coffee for the 3,000th time  
3.  Making popcorn
4.  Lunch at work
5.  Melting butter or chocolate

Let me address these one at a time.  

Numero uno: heating up leftovers. 

Let's say you've got some delicious spaghetti with plenty of homemade veggie sauce in there (you know, you were sauteing some zukes, some tomatoes, a little garlic, onion, carrots for sweetness in your organic olive oil on low heat for ninety minutes to get all of that sweetness pulled out of each veg) that spent the night in the fridge.  You're hankering for a sweet blob of spaghetti with some of that shaved parmesan but, HOLY MOLEY, you don't have a microwave!  What to do, what to do?

It's like-a this, Mickey, you putta the espaghetti into the pot on the estove with a little watta so's we don't scorch it, eh?  Turn on the a-fire and warm it up real nice, capiche?  Putta the espaghetti into your bowl and viola, you got some hot espaghetti.  Whatsa matter?  You not gonna wait five more seconds for perfection, Mickey?  I think you betta change-a your mind if you know what's good for you, Mickey.  Now dats more like it, Mickey.  Be a good boy, now.  Glad we understand each other.  

Leftover burgers or pizza - put them in the toaster oven (minus the bun, the lettuce, etc.) and walk away, come back - delicious burger.  And heating it up like this keeps the heat.  Or if you're desperado, put your cast iron pan on the stove, put your patty into the pan, add a few drops of water, turn that baby on, cover it up and in two minutes you'll have that thing sizzling.

Soup?  Put it into a pot, obvs!  Heat it up on the stove.

I don't have anything plastic that touches food (minus a cutting board, the Pampered Chef slap-chop, and the handles of one of those little tiny sharp knives.  OH!  And the lid to my Mason jar water bottle.), so this is a gigantic bonus when I want to heat something up in the oven (or toaster oven).  I just pop the Pyrex in (and yes, I do collect the Crazy Daisy and Spring Blossom Pyrex) the oven and food can be warmed and served (and stored) in the same dish.

Issue #2: Reheating coffee for the 3,000th time

Personally?  I don't drink the stuff.  Give me my tea and I'm all set, but I can understand your problem.  But the problem is in your solution.  Do a test.  I don't know why, but if you heat up a cup of coffee in the microwave and heat up another mug of coffee in a pot on the stove, the one from the stove stays hotter longer.  If someone can figure out why, please feel free to share.  So by heating it on the stove, you can cut down on the amount of reheating times needed (for one thing), and the amount of cancer you're probably ingesting (on the other hand).  Bonus.  And then just rinse out the pot (that would be a stainless steel pot, not a Teflon-coated cancer pot) and wipe it dry and you're all good.

Issue #3:  Making Popcorn

You're joking, right?  Microwaved popcorn tastes like troll feet compared to popcorn in a pot on the stove and it takes the same amount of time.  I use 1/3 cup of organic (non-GMO!) popcorn kernels in 1 or 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, put the lid on, shake it like that QVC Shake Weight and in 2 or 3 minutes you have glorious popcorn.  Add some full spectrum salt (pink himalayan or celtic grey) and a blob of glorious melted Kerrygold butter and you will find yourself instantly snuffling happily in  your trough.  You're welcome.

Issue #4:  Lunch at work

See, this is where we need to turn the world around, my friends.  Workplaces have microwaves but rarely have traditional heating mechanisms.  What a dumb thing!  Kill all of your workers, boss man, kinda not a good plan (unless they are bad workers.  But why did you hire them in the first place?   Yep.  Still all your fault.).  

Here are a few of my wild (but totally serious) suggestions:

a) buy your work a toaster oven (bonus: you can save your fellow workers lives after you reform them to your healthy ways)

b) sneak in one of those 1990's George Foreman grills (panini day? Hello!)

c) get one of those hot water plugger inner thingies for your tea and add hot water to your soup (it might work, right?) - or you could get one of those double walled stainless steel canteens that promise to keep things boiley hot for like fifteen hours

d) eat salads, sandwiches, gazpachos and other things that do not require heat

Issue #5: Melting butter or chocolate

I really must say, "f'realies??" to this one, too.  Maybe your microwave is different, but when I used to heat up butter in the microwave, I would stick it in a measuring cup.  When the minute (or 30 seconds, whatever) was up, I would pull out a slumped stick of butter with a giant hole in the middle of it.  DOES THIS SEEM LIKE IT IS A LITTLE WEIRD AND UNNATURAL TO ANYONE ELSE?  A hole.  In the middle.  

Yeah, that was probably good for me.  

The alternative method is just as easy (to say nothing of omitting the radioactive butter experiment.  Cookies?  I made them myself!  What do you mean they glow in the dark?).  Teeny cast iron pan, put in the butter, turn the heat on all the way low and come back in 90 seconds and it will all be melted.  And if you do it this way, you can see the two different "parts" (?) of butter - this lovely clear liquid, and the creamy opaque part.  Or maybe I have weird butter.  But that's how I roll.

As far as chocolate, I put it in a Mason jar, put the Mason jar into a pot of hottest water on the stove, turn it on medium and stir it with a spoon until it melts.  It's really not a big deal.

Honestly, it's not really that hard.  I know you have to push your brain in a different direction to avoid the microwave habit, but besides that, I have to tell you it's really no problema.  Your two minutes of patience will result in 1) a better character in yourself and 2) better tasting food.

(Not to mention the whole avoiding carcinogens and EMFs.  No bigs.)

So let me know.  Is it do-able?  How are you coping?

Stand strong, mis amigos!  You aren't a sheep following the masses blindly, you're cutting a path for yourself to better health and a happier body.  Now that certainly may be counter-cultural, but I think it's worth it.

Peace, love, and I need to go wash my face after my trough-episode,
Ms. Daisy

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Hans Hertel: Microwaved food screws up your bloodwork

Hey peeps!  How's it going?  So, have you lived without your microwave for 48 hours?  CAN YOU EVEN BEAR LIFE??!  Did you put a sticky note on it with a reminder saying "Do Not Use" on it?  Send me a picture if you did!  (justonethingchallenge {at}

So, I want you to have some science behind this earth shattering lifestyle change and here it comes - in the form of research done by Hans Hertel.  Hans and a group of researchers lived in a quarantined like fashion for 8 weeks - no drinking, no women-ing, no drugs, just being lab rats - all for us, so that we might have some knowledge about what microwaved food does to our bodies.  (Everybody say, "Thanks, Hans!") 

Hans and seven of his best researcher buddies had their blood taken upon rising (to get a baseline), fifteen minutes after eating and then two hours after eating.  They wanted to see if there was anything going on in their blood differently when they ate conventionally heated food, raw food, and microwaved foods.  They tested different things like milk (raw, cooked, microwaved), and veggies (raw, steamed, frozen but defrosted in a microwave and cooked straight up in a microwave).  

What they found won't really surprise you.  

(What happened when they started to publish their results won't surprise you, either.  Go against status quo and you almost always are going to get marginalized, threatened, discredited or all of the above.)

What they found was the following:

Those who ate microwaved foods had a decrease in all hemoglobin (that's a red protein responsible for transporting oxygen...kind. of. important.) 
Those who ate microwaved foods had their "good" cholesterol lowered and their "bad" cholesterol raised.  (The makers of Lipitor encourage you to keep up your microwave use, I'm guessing...)

Lymphocytes (those are white blood cells, remember? Oh, and that is a marker for your immune system, just ask any cancer patient going through chemo about their WBC - they know all about it!) took a downhill turn in the blood of those who ate microwaved foods immediately after eating them.  Leukocytes showed an increase over progression of time, showing a marker for stress in the body.

You'll not be surprised things got worse as they went along.

There is more detailed information for you to read about regarding this study here at Dr. Mercola's website.

Yes, I can assure you that most people will think you are just a crazy health freak for not using your microwave, but we are not those who shrink back at being different.  When you know that there will be a difference in your health from not using it, it is not hard to adopt, although the habit of it may be mindless and have to be put in to the front of your brain to break initially.  I know this seems like a huge thing on the one hand, but I really encourage you to just try it - just a try - for two weeks.  See if you can do it, see if you could picture yourself going for three weeks, and then making it a normal way to interact with your food.

Being someone else's weird and dangerous science experiment is not on my bucket list, perhaps you feel the same way.  The age of the microwave oven is not proving to be an era saturated with robust health, is it?  I say we bow out of this one.

Not only are you open to the health benefits, but if you're a person who wants instant gratification, at the very least just think of how much better your food will taste.  Think of slow cooked meals - the smell of simmering things on your stove, the coaxing out of natural sweetness in various delicious veggies that only comes about with patience.  

One question I want to answer quickly that keeps coming up - "What do I take to work to eat?"  (I am guessing that this means your work does have a microwave, but not a proper kitchen with a stove in it, thus the quandry.)  What about a wonderful, organic, crunchy, happy salad with your homemade dressing?
Delish picture from
Whut?  Homemade dressing?!  Yeah, something difficult like your custom proportion of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  You can do this.  You have skillz to pay the billz.)  What about a peanut butter (invest in Naturally Nutty's gourmet nut butters and you won't be sorry) and raw honey and banana sandwich?  Yeah, it's kind of like eating dessert, but it is a suggestion.  What about a turkey sandwich with your homemade mayo?  What about sliced up grilled chicken (organic, free range, that you cooked over wood) and some quinoa?  That doesn't have to be hot.  What about gazpacho?  What about some funky noodle and veg and chicken salady thing with your homemade Italian dressing?  Take fruit to eat along side of it.  Maybe some almonds and a square of 72% dark (organic fair-trade, non-soy lecithin) chocolate for dessert?  NOW WE'RE TALKIN'!  If none of that will do, buy your work a toaster oven and heat it up in that.

You can do this.  I am pretty sure your life was filled with slightly harder challenges, no?  Let me know what you're trying, what's working, what questions you have.  And don't forget to share the love with others!  Most likely they don't know they're screwing up their bodies.  Get out your cape, homies!

Peace, love, and step up!
Ms. Daisy